Elevated plasma TGF-beta(1) levels correlate with decreased survival of metastatic breast cancer patients
Krajnović, Milena M.
Dimitrijević, Bogomir B.
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Background: The role of circulating TGF-beta(1) in prognosis of breast cancer (BC) was investigated with an intention to define TGF-beta(1)-dependent high risk and low risk subsets of patients. Methods: Fifty three BC patients of all clinical stages and 37 healthy donors (HD) were analyzed for plasma TGF-beta(1) by the T beta RII receptor-based Quantikine TGF-beta(1) ELISA kit. Results: The plasma TGF-beta(1) level of Stage I/II disease (median: 0.94 ng/ml; n=10)) remained close to HD (median: 1.30 ng/ml; n = 37; p GT 0.1). In contrast, Stage III/IV disease (median: 2.34 ng/ml; n=43) exhibited highly significant TGF-beta(1) elevation (p LT 0.001) relative to HD. Further analysis revealed that TGF-beta(1) increase was predominantly attributed to Stage IV, metastatic disease patients (Q3=4.23 ng/ml) rather than to the group Stage III/IV (Q3=3.58 ng/ml). Using the plasma TGF-beta(1) concentration of 3.00 ng/ml as the cut-off value, two subgroups of patients were formed. Overall 2-year sur...vival of the first subgroup, having elevated plasma TGF-beta(1) ( GT 3.00 ng/ml; n=10), was 10%. This was significantly decreased (p LT 0.05) compared to 52% survival observed for the second subgroup of patients with plasma TGF beta(1) values close to HD ( LT 3.00 ng/ml, n=19). Conclusion: We have performed a pilot study to determine the relationship between overall survival and TGF-beta(1) concentration in the blood of metastatic breast cancer patients. The survival was significantly reduced in the patients with elevated plasma TGF-beta(1) levels compared to that of the patients with plasma TGF-beta(1) levels close to normal. We propose that plasma TGF-beta(1) concentration may be a new tumour marker attributed to the presence of metastatic BC cells that may be used in selection of metastatic BC patients with poor prognosis. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.